State Assemblymember Loni Hancock, City Councilmember Kriss Worthington and Father Stephan of St. Joseph the Worker Church were among the 38 people arrested in front of the Woodfin Suites Hotel Thursday, committing civil disobedience to show support for 12 hotel workers fired April 27.
More than 300 worker advocates rallied as 38 supporters sat in the street in front of the hotel at 5900 Shellmound St. in Emeryville, according to Brooke Anderson, organizer with the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy. The workers and their supporters have been demanding that the hotel enforce Measure C, a living wage law for Emeryville hotel workers that mandates overtime rates when workers clean more than a set amount of space.
Hotel management has told the Planet that the fired workers do not have proper Social Security numbers, but their advocates say that the question of Social Security numbers came up only after workers began to demand enforcement of Measure C.
On its website, www.woodfinfacts.org, the hotel management says that on April 27 “the City of Emeryville warned our company in writing that our decision to comply with federal laws would place Woodfin ‘in clear violation of city law.’
“This language amounts to not much more than a veiled threat to revoke our hotel operating permit, a decision that would result in all 120-plus Woodfin employees being unceremoniously thrown out of work.”